HB Exclusive: McNeill Hotel Company creates new operations structure

McNeill Hotel Company has implemented a new structure for the supervision of its property-level operations, accompanied by the appointment of three new regional directors of operations (RDOs).

“We’re moving from an area general manager model, post-COVID,” Mark Ricketts, president/COO, McNeill, told Hotel Business. “Our new post-COVID structure allows for more strategic oversight as we look at opportunities to grow our portfolio in the future.”

Sargis MnatsaKanyan, presently GM of McNeill’s Homewood Suites Boise (ID) (shown above) and area GM-Mountain West Region, has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He began his hospitality career in his native Armenia moving to the U.S. in 2007.

Matt McAtee, presently GM of McNeill’s Homewood Suites Carmel, IN, and area general manager-Upper Midwest, joined McNeill in 2018. He has more than 10 years of hospitality experience.

Jesse Kremer joins McNeill with more than 30 years in the hospitality industry. His most recent hospitality positions include regional director of operations for Hawkeye Hotels and, prior to that, regional director of operations for Tharaldson, which later transitioned into TMI Hospitality before being purchased by Aimbridge.

“Our six area general managers were responsible for the full operation of their own hotel, plus the support of four to five other hotels,” said Ricketts. “In addition to day-to-day operational issues, a key focus of this arrangement was to work with these properties from a training perspective. Fortunately, business for McNeill across our portfolio picked up strongly after the initial impact of the pandemic. However, this robust activity, combined with labor shortages, stressed this working model for our area general managers.”

Each RDO is responsible for supervising, on average, nine properties. “They will be able to work closely with their assigned hotels on nuts-and-bolts areas like accounting, inventory management or sales strategies,” he said. “They will also help with training initiatives and in counseling team members. We expect that the RDOs will be able to make on-site visits three times a year to each of their properties. The RDOs will report directly to Travis Murray, our VP of operations.”

Murray said that the restructuring provides the company with “excellent scalability” as the company’s portfolio continues to grow. “We envision a maximum of 12 hotels under supervision for each RDO,” he said. “So, when we reach 36 hotels in our portfolio, we will assign a fourth RDO. This group of four RDOs will start with approximately nine properties each under supervision; when we reach 48 hotels in our portfolio, it will once again be time to expand the group.”

Ricketts added, “Organizationally, this new RDO alignment complements the work we have done over the past two to three years in building out our executive teams. We have a strong group of VPs and team established for each major area, such as operations, sales, accounting, human resources or revenue management. We believe our platform is built correctly for scalability and growth.”